Penny Francis is the co-pastor and joint founder of Ruach City Church, UK, alongside her husband Bishop John Francis. Ruach Ministries is based in five locations: Brixton, Walthamstow and Kilburn in London, Birmingham (West Midlands), and Philadelphia, USA. Pastor Penny is a preacher, teacher and author, and runs seminars in various topics, including couples contemplating marriage. Keep The Faith managed to catch up with Pastor Penny to chat about ministry, family and her new books.
Keep The Faith (KTF): You serve in ministry with your family – husband, Bishop John Francis and daughter, Elder Juanita Francis. How do you manage to balance family and ministry to ensure the pressures of ministry don’t spill over into your family time?
Pastor Penny Francis (PPF): Mmm… How do I manage to balance… The short answer is: with great difficulty and having an attitude that’s flexible! As I look back, I think one of the things we did as a couple very early on was to talk about how we would manage ourselves. This was before we had the girls. I was aware of the demands of the ministry, and we had decided that we would make sure we had personal time, family time, and that we would ensure the children had a proper routine when they came along. As time passed and the ministry grew – and the responsibilities of the church became more demanding – it was harder to stick to what we had said, but we still worked at it. Over the years, the balance could have been better, and there were some times when the pressures of ministry spilled over into family life, but we were always aware and worked hard not to make it a habit.
KTF: Having been in ministry for over twenty years, what would you say are some of the secrets to your longevity?
PPF: I suppose that top of my list would be loads of prayer! Next would be having a mindset that is open to change. One of the things I have noticed over the years is that, in ministry life, things don’t always stay the same, so you must be adaptable and flexible in how you do church, but without compromising. The other thing that comes to mind is being happy with who you are, and being true to yourself. You may not be everyone’s cup of tea, so to speak, but you will be happier and more content as you serve and, as a result, you’ll be willing to continue in ministry with a rounded perspective and a sense of fulfilment.
KTF: At Ruach’s 2019/2020 Crossover Service, you preached a message entitled ‘The year of divine clarity’. What do you believe God is saying to His people this year?
PPF: My husband, Bishop John Francis, had spoken to me and shared what the focus for this year would be for our church. So, the word I preached was based on what the Lord had laid on my husband’s heart concerning 2020. We believe that this year the Lord will give us insight and clarity of vision, so that when we speak, decree and declare in any given situation, our utterance will be based on what we can clearly see and understand. We won’t be speaking generally or acting vaguely. The Holy Spirit will show or reveal God’s specific will and purpose concerning us with such clarity that we will not doubt or wonder what God is saying or doing – we will know. There is more to this but that’s it in a nutshell!
KTF: You are a preacher, teacher and author. Do you have any new books in the works?
PPF: Yes, in addition to my first two books, ‘My Affliction Has A Sound’ and ‘Your First Steps’, I do have a couple more that will be published this year. One is my poetry book; I’ve been promising my church to publish this one for years, and I’ve finally compiled my poems in my book entitled ‘From Pen’. The other book, which will most probably be published in the latter part of the year, is entitled ‘Shame Is Not Your Portion’.
I think the title speaks for itself. It’s birthed out of a message I preached some years ago, and I felt inspired to write the book. I’ve been getting great feedback and testimonies from my first two books, so I believe the next two will also be a great blessing.
For more information about Pastor Penny and Ruach City Church UK, visit www.https:/ruachcitychurch.org/